Financial technology & the smart CFO
CFOs and finance teams today are so much more than bean counters. They are problem solvers. They are dependable leaders within their organizations. They operate with a high-level of integrity. Modern finance teams have a lot of responsibility and deserve tools that help them do their job to the best of their ability. Twelve things smart CFOs care about when leveraging financial technology for their organization are:
- Better reporting
- Smarter spreadsheeting
- Streamlined processes
- Optimizing for users
- Employee empowerment
- Closing faster
- Gaining a 360-degree view
- Eliminating risk
- Focusing on innovation – and not worrying about technology
It’s not news to you that data on its own is meaningless. Finance professionals today need to use data to come up with forward-thinking business recommendations based on real analytics. Streamline better financial reporting by following in the footsteps of cutting-edge organizations that use financial technology.
Sixty-nine percent of CFOs plan to increase tech spending. Imagine a reporting platform that:
- Features multi-dimensionality with spreadsheet and imaging integration
- Allows easy drill-down and drill-across reporting
- Works on mobile including Android and Apple devices
- Provides tools for account-level monitoring, including inspection capabilities that allow users to stay on top of any irregular activity
This technology exists and leading finance executives are using it to achieve their goals and innovate their businesses.
It’s easy for finance and accounting departments to function as silos within an organization. However to have a truly global view of the business, finance executives need to collaborate outside of their department. Getting to know the people behind the budget line items is important for better collaboration and communication and enables greater business innovation.
Additionally, teams that work together to close the books should be able to see all associated ledgers, and work from a collaborative activity log to get real-time status and progress. Imagine a financial system that includes:
- Notifications that allow users to focus on work required to resolve errors, process open tasks
- Group discussions with attachments and annotations
- Ability to store contextual discussions and documentation to provide an audit trail around monthly activity
Modern enterprises enable mobile access with mobile expense entry and mobile reporting capabilities. With more people working from home than ever before, best-in-class enterprises also have systems in place to allow multiple users to have secure access to the financial system simultaneously.
In 2020, more than 30 million office workers in the United States started working remotely. By giving the finance professionals in your organization access to business data they need to do their jobs more efficiently, you leave more time for improving and innovating company processes, as well as saving costs in office space. Use financial technology that’s run in the cloud so your employees can access business data anywhere.
Oracle Financials Cloud includes:
- Mobile expense management, including the ability to take photos of receipts and submit
- Mobile analytics
- Access from anywhere there is an internet connection
Use a system that allows spreadsheet integration and eliminates the need for disconnected spreadsheets across your organization.
The inherent problem with operating off of many different spreadsheets across the business is that spreadsheets alone are not an integrated system that helps the business scale. Manual spreadsheets are prone to errors, and when growing companies use these small errors to make projections and forecasts, major problems can arise.
Oracle Financials Cloud allows finance teams to operate in a real system that enables better spreadsheet use through tools like SmartView, an Excel add-in product. SmartView allows users to access data straight from the application. Even if you have multiple spreadsheets used for analysis, there is still only one version of the master data that all users can access.
SmartView also allows users to create scenarios of specific analysis of certain accounts, cost centers, business units and more.
Streamline for efficiency
Make data entry more efficient:
- Automate AP invoice entry with an imaging solution
- Streamline approval processes using workflows that can be tailored based on your company’s internal hierarchy as far as approval processes
How are you using financial technology for your data?
Collaborate with your CIO and other leaders in your organization and make this year the one where you use financial technology to streamline data entries. Include planning and budgeting procedures in this strategy.
Collective planning and budgeting
Use a budgeting tool that allows input from across the enterprise – where different departments can enter their parts of the budget.
Choose a system with analysis tools to ensure that transactions hit the right accounts before month end.
Imagine a future of automated accounts payable invoice scanning, where your CEO has the ability to approve invoices from his or her phone anywhere, at any time.
Luckily you don’t have to wish for these scenarios. These capabilities are a reality for executives that use Oracle Financials Cloud.
Use enterprise cloud software as your financial technology to automate:
- Automatic reversing entries (for accruals)
- Recurring journals
- Intercompany transactions and eliminations
Optimizing for users
Are you giving your employees tools that are optimized for them to do their job effectively? Modern Oracle Financials Cloud gives users a two-click-to-everything interface.
Oracle Financials Cloud offers users:
- Tools for instant insight
- Easier reporting
- Collaboration tools
Considering that over 51% of Americans are disengaged with their work, while 16% are actively disengaged, employee engagement is one of the biggest issues managers today face.
Implementing new financial processes and systems creates a great opportunity to involve employees as well as to give them tools to help them do their job. Does your financial system give your employees:
- The ability to use important applications anywhere, anytime
- Easy access and user-friendly interfaces
- Tools that help keep them organized to address top priority tasks via notifications and other tools for organization and prioritization
Being focused on value-added business activities leads to better employee performance, more engagement and the feeling that employees have been empowered rather than hindered in their efforts to do a good job. This leads to better employee engagement and talent retention.
Consider this for your employees:
- More efficiency on the job due to better tools
- More loyalty – employees that feel empowered, encouraged and supported and more likely to stay with the company
- More engaged – loyal employees are more engaged and more productive
We’ve already talked about collaboration. Using a financial system with collaboration tools helps finance teams work together to close faster – a wonderful gift to the whole team!
Tools such as the Close Monitor brings information into a single place so that you can monitor close status across ledgers and subledgers to help you close books faster.
Oracle Financials Cloud fully automates the process of closing the books across the teams that manage the subledgers. Businesses with multiple companies are consolidated in the process.
Gaining a 360-degree view
It’s a common challenge for growing businesses to find themselves in a situation with siloed business systems. Many companies start out with a solution like Quickbooks, but as the company grows in revenue, employees and locations new systems that are not connected are added to meet immediate needs. The longer term effect is systems that are not integrated and no longer fully serve the business.
Companies that integrate a real financial system for the entire business gain:
- Visibility into key business information
- IT operational costs
- Acceleration of company growth
- Environment for innovation
You need a real financial system that is compliant across different regulatory bodies. Oracle accounting software supports Fortune 50 to Fortune 5000 sized clients, offering the ability to satisfy multi-national organizations with multi-GAAP requirements across multiple control frameworks established in a multitude of industries (PCI, FDA, HIPAA, SEC, CPSC).
Oracle Financials Cloud provides a unified framework for managing internal controls and facilitating financial and operational audits. By streamlining all governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) activities, Oracle Financials Cloud supports a common view of risk and compliance across requirements.
Focusing on innovation – and not worrying about technology
Finding a real, integrated financial system allows executives to focus more on the business innovation rather than worrying about technology.
Hosted, secure, administered and managed by a global team of the world’s best application and technology professionals in support of today’s quickly evolving standards and control frameworks at a cost that scales to size is the dream of any executive that has had to spend too much time trying out how to manage the IT side of their business.
It also allows time for more important things in life, like spending time with family. Or playing golf.